The Garden of Gethsemane
It gets me every single time. It’s just something about hearing Jesus’ humanity cry out to God. The reality of His experience penetrates my soul and softens my heart. It just makes me so grateful for the work that Jesus did on the cross.
It’s a humbling reality. It’s soothing to know that our Lord and Savior is able to relate to us. He said that His soul was exceedingly sorrowful even to the point of death. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Mt 26:39) Think about the last time your soul was down and your flesh was weak. Think about those very moments that you thought you couldn’t take another step further. Think about those moments when you wanted to give in to your humanity because whatever you were going through or had to go through was just too hard to handle. Jesus experienced that very same thing, if not even more intense than we could imagine. Imagine having the whole weight of the world on your shoulders . . . literally.
But unlike us, He never gave into His humanity, not once, and He went on to die on the cross for our sins. How amazing is that? Even in His prayers He still ended by saying not as He wills, but as God wills. But what Jesus did do was He showed us how we’re supposed to triumph over and through our negative emotions and situations so we can fulfil God’s purpose for our lives.
We are to go to God in prayer.
Jesus needed to be filled with the strength of his Father. Jesus shows us by His own example and when He told His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mk 14:38) The disciples were letting their flesh take over as they fell asleep. They were leaving themselves and Jesus vulnerable for the enemy to come in and attack or distract. The battle between flesh and spirit is a real one, but Jesus knew exactly what to do to fight that battle. Jesus demonstrated that we need to ALWAYS be connected to the Father because He is the one who gives us the tools and the power to triumph over everything we come up against especially the things beyond the confinements of our humanity.
Jesus prayed and God sent him an angel to give Him strength. Even if Luke did not make it plain, we could see how Jesus gained strength just by the slight change in his prayers. “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Mt 26:42) God gave Him the strength to submit to His will; God gave Jesus the strength to see the glory of His Father’s will. Whatever He was going through at that moment was overshadowed by the promise and purpose God had for Him and for us, His children. Soon after Jesus finished praying He got His disciples and went on His way to do what He came to this earth to do.
Because Jesus was able to overcome His flesh through the power of prayer and live a sinless life and die on the cross, we are now able to connect with the father in the same way through prayer in Jesus’ name. Jesus humbled himself and submitted to His Father’s will. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we now have access to our powerful, loving, and marvelous Creator.
John 18: 1-2